Outside the prince regent’s residence, Lu Shi walked out of the royal residence with a disconcerted face.

A young gentleman with sword brows and starry eyes anxiously awaited and rushed forward when he saw his figure.
“Father, how is A-Huan*?”

Lu Nanxing was Meng Huan’s childhood friend and grew up with him.
Lu Shi was a higher official than Meng Xueming, so Meng Huan had also served as his reading companion.

*A-: prefix used before monosyllabic names, kinship terms to indicate familiarity.

Lu Shi’s expression was sorrowful as he told the story of the meeting.

Lu Nanxing’s face changed dramatically.
“What? Could it be that A-Huan has been bribed by this dog thief’s material interests and has started climbing up to him? How outrageous!”

Lu Shi, however, subconsciously shook his head.
Nephew Meng is not such a person.”

The two stared at each other quietly in the street where people were coming and going.

As if he understood something, Lu Shi’s expression suddenly changed.
“I don’t think Nephew Meng can be so soft and obedient to the prince.
Could it be that he is afraid that we are worried and is deliberately saying these words to pacify us?”

Lu Nanxing immediately clapped his hands approvingly.
“A-Huan’s character is similar to Uncle Meng’s, so he will not succumb to the prince.
Besides, A-Huan is smart and alert …… he must have some purpose for this move.”

Two people began to think in silence.
After a while, Lu Nanxing suddenly held his father’s hand.

“Uncle Meng was sent to Fengxiang this time.
The way is gloomy, and his life or death is unpredictable.
Could it be that A-Huan has run out of ideas to live and wants to pretend to flatter the prince regent, and then after gaining his favor, follow the example of the beauty assassinating the monarch and killing him?”

Lu Shi’s expression also changed.
After thinking about it, it seemed that only this speculation was most consistent with the reason for Meng Huan’s drastic change in temperament.

The two stood in the middle of the street with an autumn twilight-like sadness in their expressions.

After a long time, Lu Nanxing stomped his foot and said, “If A-Huan really has such thoughts, then I’m afraid we can’t persuade him anymore.
How about I write him a letter and ask him what his plans are in the prince’s residence, Father?”

Lu Shi closed his eyes, and the appearance of Meng Xueming’s disheveled hair and beard when sent into Fengxiang flashed before his eyes.
He neither shook his head nor nodded.

Lu Nanxing hurriedly said, “Then, I will immediately write a letter and let someone take it in.”

After serving Lin Bozhou dinner in the Water Pavilion, Meng Huan came to this refreshing place with his painting tools to draw as he wished and exercise his ability to paint landscapes.

The maid beside him, Fengzhi, looked at the painting and exclaimed in admiration, “Madam is really great!”

Meng Huan chuckled.
“It’s not worth mentioning!”

But the maids usually only played cuju and pai gow besides work and felt interested in anything Meng Huan did, muttering incessantly around him.

After he finished painting, Meng Huan went to wash the brush in the water.
It was finally quiet beside him, but a shadow fell behind him.
“Madam, you dropped something.”

Meng Huan turned around and found that it was a neat boy servant pinching something wrapped in cloth and handing it to him.

Meng Huan denied it.
“This is not my stuff.”

The boy servant was a little anxious.
“Take it, madam, it’s really yours!”

After saying that, he shoved the cloth package into Meng Huan’s hand, checked around to ensure no one was paying attention, and ran away quickly.

What did he mean?

Meng Huan scratched his chin, confusedly opened the package, and found a letter inside.

A letter? For me? Meng Huan was just about to tear it open on the spot when he remembered the nervous look of the boy, who had obviously sent it secretly.

Forget it. Meng Huan put the letter in his pocket and returned home.

It was not until late at night that Meng Huan lit the oil lamp and opened the letter.

But when he saw the words on the letter, he was suddenly dazed as if splashed with cold water.

Help! It’s all in traditional Chinese characters!

And in the running script!

Classical Chinese grammar!

Meng Huan desperately opened his eyes wide and tried with all his might to parse out the key content of the letter, using all his prior knowledge of reading Classical Chinese writing in senior high school.

But after half an hour, Meng Huan walked wearily to the door and looked at his servants left and right.
“Which one of you has ever read?”

A skinny manservant stood out.
“Madam, this servant knows how to read.”

Meng Huan said, “Come here and read a letter for me.”

“Okay.” The manservant hurriedly nodded.

Meng Huan said, “Read it.” And then added, “Read it slowly and a few more times.”

The manservant read the contents of the letter word by word.

As Meng Huan understood, the first paragraph was about scolding Lin Bozhou.

In the second paragraph, when he heard the manservant read the words “internal agent,” “intelligence,” and “assassination,” his eyebrows gently wrinkled, and he looked at him in disbelief.

“What is the meaning of this letter?”

The manservant wiped the cold sweat on his forehead.
“This letter asks whether Madam is staying in the prince’s residence to entice the prince with sex, pass information, or try to assassinate the prince.”

Meng Huan: “……”

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